Award Info & Nomination Link
The JC Schools Difference Maker Award is presented to staff and students who make a difference in their schools and our community; those individuals who go above and beyond to exemplify #JCStrongerTogether. Nominate a Staff Difference Maker here! Nominate a Student Difference Maker here!
JC Schools will thank all Difference Makers nominated, and some, like those pictured below, will be recognized monthly at the JC Schools Board of Education meeting. We love to spotlight Difference Makers that are tied to each of our three organizational pillars: Learning, Partnerships and Stewardship.
STAFF DIFFERENCE MAKER
Congratulations to our April 2021 Difference Makers! Thank you for your contributions to JC Schools! You are amazing and true difference makers!
Jennifer Bearden, Belair Librarian
Nominated by: Elizabeth Milhollin, Nikki Carel and Beth Hillis, Belair Staff
Jennifer Bearden exemplifies the district priority of partnerships. Mrs. Bearden is the librarian at Belair. This is NOT just a job to Mrs. Bearden - this is her passion. This was evident most recently during #JCReads Week. Finding ways to encourage kids to read, love reading, and talk about books and authors is what Mrs. Bearden does best. Each day of #JCReads Week, Mrs. Bearden dressed up as a different book character and greeted kids getting off of the buses and car rider line. She decorated our courtyard with reading decorations and activities for classroom teachers to use with their students. She also asked parents and other community members to send in videos of them reading aloud for "guest reader" day. Mrs. Bearden's love of reading is contagious! We are beyond grateful for the extra time, energy, and effort she puts into our library program at Belair. (nomination by Elizabeth Milhollin)
Laurie Frew, West 3rd Grade Teacher
Nominated by: Hilary Brondel, West Instructional Literacy Coach
It is my pleasure to share with you what a wonderful reading culture Laurie Frew has created in her classroom. Laurie has worked very hard to learn many strategies to help her students be proficient readers, but her greatest area of professional growth has been finding new ways to help her students love reading.
Laurie has attended optional professional development sessions to learn about fostering a love for reading in her students, requested professional development books on conferencing with students about their reading, and she has sought out books to include in her classroom library that all students will be able to relate to. This has allowed her to create a classroom library with interesting and diverse titles that all of her students enjoy reading.
Her classroom has become a place where students enjoy getting lost in a good book. This has come as a result of her conferencing with students to help them find books they will love and taking an interest in what they are reading. One of my favorite memories from this challenging school year was in Laurie’s classroom. She had a student who was new to her classroom and our school. I happened to overhear the student say that she did not like reading and Miss Frew quickly responded that would be their #1 goal this school year, to show her that she COULD love reading. She quickly asked the student what kind of things she liked. The student was excited to share with me a few days later that she was excited to read the book Miss Frew had gotten for her that morning. The day after she stated she didn’t like reading Miss Frew began putting a new book on her desk with a note each morning. In just two days, the child had already changed her opinion of reading.
More recently, her students were so excited to share with me a new series they were reading! Miss Frew had purchased the entire series and her students were recommending to me which book I should read first. The excitement around reading good books and having conversations about what they were reading was just so amazing!
These are just a few examples of the many great moments that occur daily in Miss Frew’s classroom. Just imagine what a year in Laurie’s classroom will do for students and their love of reading!
STUDENT DIFFERENCE MAKER
Addison Jones, Thomas Jefferson Middle School 8th Grade Student
Nominated by: Kelsey Hile, TJMS PE Teacher
I would like to take this opportunity to nominate Addison Jones for a Student Difference Maker award. Addison’s positive attitude is contagious! She leads simply by her actions on a daily basis and always strives to better those around her. Addison‘s relentless and competitive work ethic is not only demonstrated in the classroom but through extracurricular activities as well. Balancing both of these high-achieving responsibilities further highlights what an amazing and outstanding student and student-athlete she is. She is extremely selfless. She always strives to go above and beyond to ensure others are okay. Furthermore, Addison’s unique ability to effectively and efficiently communicate consistently with peers and staff truly exemplifies the “TJ WAY." Addison’s personal integrity and citizenship sets the standard and is the benchmark within our classrooms culture and school community!